Which carriers offer First Class seats from Asia for onward travel to Europe?

Hi Keith,
I’m wondering if there is a way to find out all of the carriers who offer first class seats from Asia onto all destinations in Europe.

I have a Life miles account and can not seem to find anything.

Also, Is there a better way to search for availability than to use the life miles search engine?

Also, is it possible to transfer points from life miles to say the individual programs of star alliance?

Hi, there’s a service called Award Nexus that you can subscribe to that allows you to search for seats. It’s a bit fiddly but you can search for seats on Star Alliance partners which is what Life Miles is affiliated with. Keith is yet to post a technical article on Life Miles (and I’m looking forward to that) and I agree that finding first class on LM seems to be difficult if not impossible. I don’t believe you can transfer LM to another FFP.

Alternatively, searching for first class seats through the American Airlines AAdvantage frequent flyer program seems to yield better results. I recently booked a one way first class ticket from Sydney to London via Dubai on Qantas using AA for 80,000 points and it was a reasonably simple process. I know you can use AA to find first class seats out of Asia to Europe. Keith has written about the AA program on this site.

There are plenty of carriers offering First Class service to Europe from Asia.
In Star Alliance: Singapore Airlines, Lufthansa, Thai, ANA, Asiana, Eva Air, Swiss.
In Oneworld: British Airways, Malaysia Airlines, Cathay Pacific.
There’s also Emirates, Etihad, Qatar, all one stop via the Middle East.

Using Lifemiles - your best bet I understand is either Thai or ANA. You may need to search leg by leg. If looking for more than 2 people, you might struggle.

And yes, I’m a big fan of awardnexus - also the United website is useful.

When it comes to LM, I can tell you all about it. You need to know how to search in LM before you write it off completely. I have booked more than 10 redemptions with LM and I must say it’s one of the best.

I think the main reason you can’t find any space is because you are searching at cities that are not serviced by first class. Not many cities nowadays have first class. As LM doesn’t allow mixed cabin, if any of the segment that contains a two cabin flight, it won’t show. Eg. If you are planning to go to Amsterdam(AMS) as it’s not a star alliance hub, you’ll need to transit, most likely Frankfurt (FRA). There aren’t any first class service between FRA to AMS, so if you search BKK to AMS you will never find first class on LM search engine.

What you need to food search BKK-FRA, then there will be plenty of F spaces. (Of course that’s assuming you book far enough in advance. If you are looking for space in next 3 months it’s too late). Then FRA-AMS you will need a separate ticket.

So you need to know which cities and what airlines has F service. Forget Singapore air as you can’t book first class on it with any other partners’ miles. Forget Lufthansa as LM blocks it (it only release on last 14 days anyway so not a big loss). Swiss’ F is only open to their own elite members. Asiana does not service F to Europe. So only Thai and ANA service F to Europe that can be booked with LM (and other star alliance program).

Thai service F to London, Frankfurt and Paris. They used to service Rome and Munich as well but that has been cut. ANA service F to London and Frankfurt. They used to service Paris but also cut. Also note that all ANA’s European flight depart from Haneda now rather than Narita, so you need to make sure you pick the right airport.

LM had an IT glitch since last December so you can’t find any availability from Australia to Europe via SE Asia. You will need a special technic called screenshots, which I have written in detail to Keith and is awaiting to be published. Please stay tuned for that. Once you know the trick, you can book first class flights from SYD to Europe easily.

After knowing these information, I can tell you availability in Star Alliance is way better than OW. If you are happy to book 11-12 months out, you can pick whatever date you want, unlike Qantas which only release mid week flights. So contrary to what LLO says, I find Star Alliance has a lot more availability than OW. I think it’s because it’s not as easy to book them and many people just give up and go and snatch up whatever that’s left in OW.



I totally agree that SA has way more award seats, hence why I was looking at LIFEMILES. So, my only options of flying first would be to go to London, frankfurt or paris which I have already checked again in the months of april and July 2016, AGAIN no availability with lifemiles, however, when checking with UA plenty of saver seats.


Keith previously wrote an article regarding the routing oneworld/aa take to and from Australia which was terrific! I cant find any similar articles for star alliance - if you know please advice.


On the contrary, if only travelling to Bangkok, there are many reward seats available both in business and first using lifemiles. The problems starts when trying to go from oz to Europe on the 1 award ticket



This is a perfect example of problems I have with lifemiles.


Sydney to Bangkok 26th april in first class arriving Bangkok at 4.20pm cost 60,000 points separately

Bangkok to Frankfurt 26th april first class departs Bangkok at 23.45pm COST 102,000 miles

It is less than an 8 hour transit period flying the same class, yet when I search from Sydney to frankfurt on the 26th nothing comes up in first.  Am I going wrong somewhere?

The points total for the ticket should be 115,000. Please explain if you know how to get around this problem


Answered in another post. Please do not post the same questions all over the place.

To play the point game, you need to have flexibility and be willing to put up a few inconveniences. it can be frustrating at times. I can imagine you pulling your hair dealing with LM and I don’t blame you as other websites such as AUSBT made LM redemption sound like a walk in the park. It isn’t! That is why Keith has been very cautious in publishing guide to LM.

Even if you got your ticket, please be prepared that Thai (TG) may change the flight time, aircraft…etc that may result in you having a misconnection or downgrade to business class and you won’t be compensated. Thai is infamous for doing that and there is even a term in FFP community that you have been “TG’ed” when your itinerary gets affected. Unlike revenue ticket which TG will be responsible for everything, you will need to deal with both TG and LM and the frustration will be a lot more! This is not LM only phenomenon, all FFP has this problem when you redeem with partners. (Imagine those people who booked flights with US airways dividend miles, USDM, and one of their flights gets cancelled or timechange that result in misconnection, you don’t even have USDM to deal with now as it is merged with AA). So be prepared for frustrations to come if you want to go into the point game.

Alternatively, you can always pay someone to do the booking for you. If anything changed, they will deal it for you.